At this years Directors and Art Directors (D&AD) New Blood festival where the best of this years creative graduates comes together to show their work, I got to experience the coming together of student and professional to contemplate the next stage of the creative industry. I choose Elliot’s work to highlight, for its imaginative nature and whimsical imagery.
Introduction from Elliott
Hello my name is Elliot Kruszynski. I studied Graphic Communication at Bath Spa University and will graduate very soon with a 1st. I’m an illustrator with a passion for drawing. I use a combination of hand drawn elements and marks coupled with digital techniques to achieve many of my final pieces. I also like creating narratives and comics and wish to self publish my own work in the future.
How did you decide to become an illustrator? Have you always been a keen drawer?
I have always drawn and loved doing it. When I was younger I really wanted to be an illustrator but then sort of thought it wasn’t a real career choice. I loved drawing but didn’t think it was something people would actually pay me to do. In fact I was only sure of actually being able to do it a year and a half into my degree. Until that point I wasn’t really sure. I took a stab at designing, and before that fine art, but illustration is what I want to do.
Your framing is great, how do you decide what image to capture? What scene to illustrate?
I go through quite a rigorous thumb-nailing stage before I start my final drawing. I try out lots of different compositions and elements and then see which ones work the best. Normally I get a good grasp for composition when I draw really small and then find that when I try to replicate that on a large scale its goes horribly wrong so sometimes I photocopy my little thumbnail and blow it up big then use a light box to sort of re-establish the composition on a larger area and see if its still good. When thinking about actually content I guess its down to the brief. What definitely needs to be shown and what point I’m trying to get across. I like to put lots of little extra things within my images to keep the viewer engaged as well though.
Tell us about your favourite project? Or your latest?
My favourite Project I’ve done was one of the last ones I did at University. It was basically exploring narratives and comics and trying to get good at them. I did some planned out longer more detailed pieces, then some really quick and fast ones. I tried out different themes and feelings, created characters and locations and also different narrative pacing and formats. I really want to make comics in my free time and that project helped lay the foundation for that.
Where do you see your illustrations being used? Commercially?
I think my illustrations could work in a commercial sense yes. I’d love to illustrate some kids books, or even write my own. Aside from that I would like to try and apply my illustration to lots of things. Album art, posters, product design, i’d like to make something for an iPad or tablet. But i’d also like to be part of a smaller market. selling comics and zines and prints and things, and having some exhibitions would be nice.
Do you think it is more important to have a hand drawn or digital talent for an illustrator? Or both?
For me I think I need to just keep pushing both sets of skills. I have been drawing for about 20 years longer than i’ve been using digital techniques so I need to make sure that both skills complement each other and neither lets the other down. I don’t think its important for illustrators today to have hand drawn skill though, many illustrators work solely digitally and thats simply their medium, the computer opposed to the pencil and paper. Similarly working digitally isn’t a necessity either. Most of my friends who illustrate use traditional methods and are mostly print based. I will always try and involve as much real hand drawing in my pieces as possible though because thats what i’m most comfortable with.
What is your dream project to work on or for which brand?
My dream project??? Well I’ve always loved animation and always wanted to get into it and hopefully should be very soon. If I got to the point where I could animate my own short film or something and it wasn’t completely terrible that would be fantastic.
Some great input from Elliot there on illustrating in the digital age, find more of his work on his website and hear a little more about what he has to say on his blog.